●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton, and executive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). JUNE 8 to 14 was Carers Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
In eastern Cheshire, there are around 21,000 unpaid carers whose unsung work transforms the lives of those they look after, while reducing demand for hard-pressed health and social care services.
For these reasons, it is vital that carers are supported so they do not become unwell.
The importance of carers is recognised in our Caring Together transformation programme to join up health and social care across eastern Cheshire.
One of many examples of integrated care is the recent launch of Cheshire East Council’s Dementia Reablement Service (DRS) in partnership with the CCG and health providers.
The service offers help and support for people in the early stages of dementia following a formal diagnosis.
It also supports their families and carers and places a strong emphasis on empowering people to manage their care independently.
The service is free for anyone who has received a diagnosis of early dementia from a memory clinic.
Your GP will refer you to the memory clinic following an assessment.
The vast majority of eastern Cheshire patients will be referred to Jocelyn Solly Resource Centre, which is based on the Macclesfield Hospital site.
DRS is helping achieve the Caring Together ambition of supporting people to take the best possible care of themselves.
This will reduce avoidable hospital admissions and is the approach people said they wanted during 18 months of consultation that shaped the Caring Together programme.
Caring Together recognises that we have been delivering services in the same way for many years and increasingly this is no longer meeting the health and social care requirements of local people.
We’re living longer, people want to be treated in their own homes and advances in medical technology mean that people’s expectations of the NHS have never been higher.
The result of this is that care services in eastern Cheshire will have £80 million less than they need by 2018/19 unless we start to work differently.
To find out more about Caring Together, email join@caringtogether. info, tweet @Caring_ Together or call 01625 242 511.
●● Dr Paul Bowen